An Aussie Architectural Classic

The agricultural shed is an iconic piece of Australia’s architectural identity.

From sheering sheds to family homes, the humble Aussie shed is ingrained within Australian culture. Read on to learn more about the history of the shed and how it’s turned into an iconic part of Australian architecture

The Material Behind the Aussie Shed

In 1843, it was discovered that corrugating a thin sheet of iron could produce a super strong, lightweight building material.

Within 10 years, John Lysaght brought corrugated iron to Australia where it was adopted by early settlers for shelter against the harsh Australian conditions.

Favoured for its lightness and ability to be easily stacked, the material was transported across long distances with prefabricated buildings often being completely assembled from numerous sheets of corrugated iron.

In the 1950s, Chicago-based Lithostrip Corporation and Pre Finish Metals discovered a way to successfully bond paint to a galvanised base, with John Lysaght bringing the new technology to Australia.

Through much time, effort and perseverance, the first coil of Colorbond Steel was produced in 1966, soon becoming a firm favourite within the construction and architectural industries and has been ingrained in the Aussie shed design.

The History of the Australian Shed

The first sheep were brought to Australia with the first fleet, in 1788.

Large flocks were soon created, with over 100 million sheep in the country by the end of the century. From there, the iconic Australian agricultural sheds were born.

The explosion of the population during the 1851 gold rush in Bendigo and Ballarat came with an even greater need for cheap and speedy construction. After 1850 corrugated iron was abundant and by the 1870’s (a period of immense prosperity and growth) Australia had become Britain’s biggest importer of this ingenious Victorian material.

Rural architecture changed forever and extensions or renovations were inevitably done in iron, paving the way for the classic Australian vernacular.

A Contemporary Spin on the Aussie Shed 

The Scandi-inspired Agricultural Lakehouse captures the typical agrarian vernacular of the Australian woolshed through its gable style roof and use of hardy Colorbond cladding.

A modular home inspired by its wild surroundings, Arkular’s Agricultural Lakehouse uses sustainable and robust materials that are aesthetically pleasing, bushfire compliant and low maintenance, making them the ideal choice for the rural coastal environment.

For its sustainability, durability and texture, the modular home is clad in Colorbond Steel and built from sustainably sourced Australian FSC-certified timbers. As any great piece of Australian architecture should, The Agricultural Lakehouse pays homage to its natural landscape, both now and for years to come.

View more about our Agricultural Lakehouse.

Reflecting the Aussie Vernacular – Architecture with Glenn Murcutt

An architect ahead of his time, Glenn Murcutt has spent his career making modest, environmentally responsible buildings entrenched in the climate and tradition of Australia.

Recognised as one of the most influential architects of the last few decades, his design philosophy, environmental awareness and in-depth architectural understanding have made him a leader in design.

A significant landmark in his career, the design of the Marie-Short House, typified Murcutt’s distinct design style. Set on stilts, the house is nearly a metre off the ground and is situated along an extensive rural stretch of land in Kempsey, north of Sydney.

Life is not about maximising everything, it’s about giving something back – like light, space, form, serenity, joy. You have to give something back.

Glenn Murcutt

The home is made from local timber, and constructed using a traditional post-and-beam method akin to many Australian woolshed buildings. A corrugated metal roof with wide eaves provides cooling shelter from the summer sun, with the farm building aesthetic reflecting the Aussie vernacular.

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